Central Otago (2) interview with Christopher Keys, Gibbston Valley
Yesterday I caught up with Christopher Keys at Gibbston Valley. He’s one of the more thoughtful winegrowers in the region, and I asked him how his approach to winemaking had changed over the years – he’s been making the wines here since 2006.
Before, he says, he was trying to impress people with his wines. He’s changed, and so have they. They now have greater transparency, and show the place better. He extracts less, and he’s moved away from holding ripeness as an ideal, and he’s no longer trying to make impressive wines. ‘It’s a high-risk game if you take away artifice,’ he says, ‘but it’s a better result in the long term.’ And the changes he’s made are seen throughout the region – not everyone is aiming for this structural delicacy and finesse, but many are. Christopher is articulate, and well worth listening to.
We also tasted extensively through library wines and current releases. It was a really interesting visit, and I’ll publish my full notes very soon.